MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- BRIDGEPORT, Calif. – Air delivery specialists with Air Delivery Platoon, Landing Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, and Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, worked together to drop class one supplies to Marines with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Feb. 3.
Class one supplies include meal rations and health and comfort items.
Operations like this are examples of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force, which encompasses all aspects of the Marine Corps' capabilities to accomplish a mission.
The mission for LS Co. was simple: get needed supplies to Marines on the ground in a remote area.
"We went to Bridgeport to do an airdrop from a [KC-130J] at Pickle Meadow to Marines with 3/5 using a container delivery system," said Master Sgt. Jerry F. McCredy, paraloft chief for Air Delivery Platoon, LS Co., CLR-17, 1st MLG. "We dropped class I materials to Marines, this was faster than trucking the supplies up to them."
The 415 pound container was attached to a G-14 parachute which allowed it to safely reach the ground from a low altitude and minimize the damage to the cargo.
Air delivery specialists are responsible for the maintenance of all life safety equipment relating to airborne and airdrop operations. The Marines will assist in preparing the equipment and supplies to deliver personnel and equipment by parachute throughout an operation. They may conduct subsequent equipment recovery operation as well. Air delivery Marines are also responsible for performing parachute repacking as well as conducting preventive and corrective maintenance on all airdrop equipment. They will assist in evaluating proposed landing zones in order to support the airdrop and equipment recovery operation.
"Our mission is to resupply units no matter where they are," said McCredy.
McCredy said they can do airdrops at any designated grid, either small unit or large unit resupply. This means the unit doesn't have to move—they can still fight and just send a team to retrieve their supplies.
"Terrain makes it hard to truck supplies, so for us to drop materials, it's better for the unit," said McCredy. "You won't get vehicles to certain areas during certain times of the year."
McCredy explained they received new Marines from their occupational specialty school, so this operation was a great opportunity for them to learn.
"After Marines come from the school house we like to have them work in the paraloft," said McCredy. "Once they are comfortable and we are confident they will be able to come out and join the load inspector. Nothing should be dropped unless it has a couple sets of eyes that went over the load."
McCredy said Marines are famous for air delivery capabilities, but only a few units take advantage of it.
"We are there to get the training for the riggers, the units in the field and air crew," said McCredy.
Air Delivery Platoons prepare many types of packages for multiple types of aircraft, not to exclude rotary craft. This makes delivering supplies to Marines in the field by air just another one of many capabilities for 1st MLG.